top of page

George William Blanchard and Jane Wood

George William Blanchard was born on 23rd December 1849 at 2 Chapel Road, Southampton, the second child of nine born to Alfred Blanchard, a boat builder, and his wife Frances, formerly Wright. He spent his early years in Southampton where his father had a boat building business at Cross House on the River Itchen. He spent his formative years in his father's home village of Hythe in the New Forest, and on the banks of Southampton Water, where his father and grand father had purchased the shipyard. Here George grew up at the waters edge, learning to swim and sail. On 18th July 1866 at the age of 16 George took up his first post as "boy" on the coasting vessel

"Lullworth" beginning his long career at sea. He spent the next nine years as an able seaman on various coasting and foreign going vessels until achieving his first post as master of the yacht "Elaine" in 1875. In 1877 he became master of the cutter "Excelsior". It was on this vessel that George set sail from Southampton on 25th July 1877, (a beautiful and serene summers day according to the cricket match reports in the local paper) possibly negotiating or just missing the violent storm that hit the south coast that night. The storm claimed the life of his eldest brother, Alfred, his sister in law Clara, and Clara's cousin Mary Jane Barnes, just hours after George had left for France. Later that same year George married Jane Wood on 12th December 1877 at St Johns Free Church, Southampton, by certificate. The witnesses were his uncle Robert Knights and his sister Emma. On his marriage certificate, George's address is given as 41 Clifford Crescent, Southampton and his occupation as seaman.

George and Jane had four children, George Alfred, b. 1878, Frances Elizabeth, b. 1880, Mabel Ann, b. 1884, and William Edward, b. 1887. In 1880 George gained his Board of Trade certificate of competency as second mate, enabling him to sail in this position on larger foreign going vessels which had become required by law. In 1888 after 10 years of marriage, his wife Jane died leaving George a widower with four young children to care for. A few months later on 1st May 1888 George took up a post with the Egyptian government as master of the coast guard levy "Egyptian Warrior" and remained in Egypt for 4 years. His eldest daughter Frances, was sent to live with her mother's family in Surrey and his other children George, Mabel and William, who was just nine months old, were cared for by George's father Alfred, in Hythe.

In 1895 George gained his Masters Certificate and is listed in Lloyd's Captain's Register as certificate no. 07903, issued Southampton. His application to be examined describes George as being 5' 4 1/2" tall, of dark complexion with dark hair and blue eyes. George married again in 1896 to Alice Louisa Foyle, (1860 - 1941) the daughter of Charles and Louisa Foyle. By 1900 George had become master of the "Artemis" a 54 ton sailing yacht, owned by architect Frank Loughborough Pearson.

George died on 23rd November 1925 aged 75 years, at 63 Charlton Road, Shirley, Southampton, cause of death, 1, cancer of the rectum, 2, asthma, the informant was his wife Alice who was present at the death. George left a will dated 14th November 1912 which was proved at Winchester 28th December 1925. He left everthing to his wife who was sole Executrix. Value of estate; £837 18s 1d. George was buried in Southampton Old Cemetery with both his wives Jane and Alice.

Jane Wood (known as Jenny) was born on 13th November 1854 in St Marylebone, London, Middlesex. Although on her marriage certificate she gives her father's name as William Wood and his occupation as gardener, her birth certificate shows her to have been born in the St Marylebone work house, the illegitimate daughter William's sister Jane Wood. It appears that she was adopted by her mother's family and she may have believed that William was her father or looked upon him as such (both are represented here) Jenny grew up in the village of Kingswood, Surrey and by 1861 she was living in Dorking, Surrey. When she married in 1877 she was living at 32 South Front, Southampton, the home of her husband's uncle and aunt, Robert and Emma Knights. Jenny died on 15th February 1888 at 13 Castle Street, Southampton, aged 33 years, cause of death - pluro pneumonia bronchitis. The informant was her husband George who was present at the death. She was buried in the Southampton Cemetery (now Southampton Old Cemetery, on the Common)


George Alfred Blanchard was born on 28th July 1878 in Freemantle, Southampton. He joined the Royal Navy, serving first on HMS St Vincent on 22nd August 1893 as a Boy 2nd class. On joining at age 15 he is described as being 5' 0 1/2" tall (attaining 5' 4" by age 18) with dark hair, dark brown eyes and a dark complexion and having "I LOVE L.M." on his right wrist. He appears to have served for 10 years without any obvious problems, being promoted to Boy 1st class, Ordinary Seaman, Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, with his character being consistently described as "very good" up until 31st December 1904 when his character is described as "fair". His career seems to have deteriorated dramatically from this point and by August 1905 his character is described as "indifferent" and he spent 14 days in the cells aboard his ship HMS London. He faced a Court Martial on 11th September 1905 for "striking his superior officer". George was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years penal servitude in a naval prison and dismissed from the Royal Navy. After serving his prison sentence George left England for Austrailia and married Daisy Evelyn Brooker in 1921 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. They do not appear to have had any children. He died on 3rd October 1953.

Frances Elizabeth Blanchard was born on 17th October 1880 in St Dennys, Southampton. After her mothers death in 1888 Frances went to live with her maternal relatives in Kingswood, Surrey. On the 1891 census she is living with her mother's aunt and uncle Elizabeth (nee Wood) and Edward Banks. She is mentioned in the will of her uncle Edward Banks (made 1893 and proved 1899) where she is assigned to the care of her cousin Susan Page until the age of 21 and was joint residuary legatee with the same Susan Page. Frances left England for Australia and married Leopold George Sims on 7th October 1907 in St Matthews church, Paddington, New South Wales. They later moved to South Africa. Frances and Leopold had 3 children, Jack Blanchard Sims, Charles Norman Sims and Reginald William Sims. Leopold died in 1918 in South Africa and Frances later married Albert Green in 1920 in South Africa. Frances and Albert had 3 children, Frances Sarah Green, George Green (who died as an infant) and Betty Green. Albert died 5th December 1956 in Botswana and Frances died in 1963 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Mabel Ann Blanchard 1884 - 1968 (direct ancestor see separate profile)

William Edward Blanchard was born in 1887 in St Dennys, Southampton

Will and Probate Document


News Paper Cuttings




bottom of page